How’d you come to be competing at Eurovision: Australia Decides?
I’ve wanted to do Eurovision for the longest time because… hey, it’s Eurovision! Over the years people have started online petitions like, “Get Courtney Act on Eurovision for Australia!” And then I started making public threats in the media like: “You know what Australia, if you’re not going to take me, I live in the UK now, my mum’s from Denmark, my dad’s from Germany… I. Have. Options!” It didn’t exactly happen like that, but SBS called and asked if I wanted to compete against some other amazing Australian acts, and hopefully Australia picks me to go to Israel.
Tell us about your song Fight For Love.
I wrote it with Sky and Filly Adams, and Danny Shah. We were all having a drink together after Kylie’s concert at the O2, and I said, “Hey do you guys want to write a song with me for Eurovision?” and they were like, “Yeah!” So we went into the studio and punched it out.
What’s it about?
It’s not fighting for the love of, say, your boyfriend or girlfriend or non-binary partner. It’s more about fighting for the love of what’s right. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a pop song – but it’s about how we have to fight for what we believe in.
Some of the comments on YouTube video say it sounds a bit generic… but there are also plenty of the heart-eye emoji too!
Rule #1 of social media when you’re a public person: don’t read the comments. Everybody’s got an opinion, and they’re entitled to their opinion, not everyone’s going to like every song. I mean, I love Kylie, but there’s music of hers I’m not fond of… but the thing with Eurovision is that people around the world are invested in this competition, so they listen because they’re Eurovision fans. Some will love it, some won’t… but it’s nice to see all the love, and hopefully some people have added it to their playlists, and they’re bopping along to it in their car, or on the bus, or at the gym.
How will you present it on stage in the Gold Coast?
The Squared Division boys – Ash Evans and Ant Ginandjar – are creative directing it. They’re absolutely amazing! I worked with them on my Christmas Special for Channel 4. They did Katy Perry’s Witness World Tour, Britney’s Vegas residency and have worked with Nick Jonas, Kesha, and all of these huge artists, so I’m very privileged… and lucky that we grew up together in the gay bars of Sydney on Oxford Street, dancing in drag shows together. Now we get to work together on different projects. With Eurovision there are a whole bunch of rules: you’re only allowed six people on stage, and I’m one of those people. Obviously, it’s a song competition, it’s a vocal performance, and you’re not allowed to have any trickery. It’s about delivering a really solid vocal performance, and I think what I’m going to bring to it, that performance aspect, is synonymous with drag. I love being on stage performing, it’s my favourite thing to do. We get to create some imagery for the song and give a really entertaining performance for the audience.
How does the voting system work for the show on the Gold Coast?
All I know about the voting system is it is 50% Eurovision judges who fly in… I’m not entirely sure what their criteria is just yet, and 50% viewers who dial a specific in to vote.
What’ll you do if you don’t get to represent Australia this year?
I’ll go to Tel Aviv anyway and run across the stage naked!
Do you want to win because men in Tel Aviv are so hot?
I’ve been to Israel in the past, but I didn’t go out. I was on an Atlantis gay cruise, I got off the boat, did the rock star thing and I never actually got to go out because I was so tired. This could be my chance to see what the famous Tel Aviv nightlife is like.
You won Celebrity Big Brother in the UK, you’ve done Drag Race, you hosted The Bi Life… do you see Eurovision as another reality show?
Eurovision is a different because it doesn’t follow the same format of other reality TV shows, but there’s still that journey element. I’m at the point now where I think, “Oooh, two reality shows… three, four, five, SIX!” So it’s a career path now!
You’re a reality veteran!
Yes, and I think they all prepared me, in different ways, for what’s going on. I’m friends with Conchita Wurst, Eurovision winner in 2014 and her career, well, she’s doing these gorgeous shows with the Viennese Symphony and travelling around Europe… It would be so cool to officially represent Australia in that way.
Eurovision: Australia Decides is a live event on the Gold Coast on February 9 and will be broadcast on SBS. Ten of Australia’s best performers will compete to represent Australia at Eurovision this year in Tel Aviv. The competing acts are: Alfie Arcuri, Aydan, Courtney Act, Ella Hooper, Electric Fields, Kate Miller-Heidke, Leea Nanos, Mark Vincent, Sheppard and Tania Doko. The show will be hosted by Joel Creasey and Myf Warhurst.